Gladiators star Jet refused to film 'uncomfortable' scenes

Gladiators star Jet reveals why she refused to film scenes in original series

Gladiators original star Jet's real name is Diane Youdale. (Alamy)
Gladiators original star Jet's real name is Diane Youdale. (Alamy)

Gladiators original star Jet has shared the moment that she refused to film on the show because she felt "uncomfortable".

One of the most well-loved gladiators on the show, everyone was devastated when Jet - whose real name is Diane Patricia Youdale - had to quit in 1996 after she suffered a neck injury. Her starring role on Gladiators cemented Jet's place in the showbiz spotlight.

Now the reality series has been rebooted by BBC and Gladiators fans think they have already spotted the "new" Jet among the 2024 cast. Looking back at her time on the show, 53-year-old Jet admitted the moment she felt "uncomfortable" on Gladiators and she refused to film the scenes.

She shared her story with host Emma Barnett on BBC Radio 4 programme Woman's Hour recently: "Because we were functional athletes, I felt good about the idea of ebing in two tiny bits of lycra and being a very good athlete in the arena because not everybody takes to the arena.

"The only bit I felt a bit uncomfortable about was the contestants would win a car and they wanted to do a swooping grab shot of the girls semi-draped over this jeep without our tracksuit bottoms on and I said, "absolutely not"."

Despite being an icon and her fantastic looks, Jet reflected on the reality of her struggles with her body image. She said: "I was so nervous all the time. I mean people say 'oh flicking her hair around [and] smiling and doing the flips'. It was pure anxiety. I didn't want to stand still because I was afraid the cameras would just focus in on my lumpy, bumpy bits."

She added: "In the days coming out of the late 80s, into the early 90s, I was always a bit body-conscious back then. I think now we just embrace all female shapes and sizes and builds and functionality. So I just kept moving."

Life after Gladiators

(L-R) Lightning, Jet and Scorpio, of the ITV series Gladiators, in London
(L-R) Lightning, Jet and Scorpio, of the ITV series Gladiators, in London. (Getty)

Jet changed her life after she left her TV career behind on Gladiators. Of course viewers remember Jet left following her serious neck injury in 1996. Of the injury, she told the BBC: "I'll never forget the moment I heard a 'pop'."

She added: "They stretchered me out and, as I was lying in an ambulance in agony, I thought I'm going to roll away while my limbs still work,” she said. “I've done my four years, it's time to bow out." Only last year, she told The Mirror: "Had it been worse, it would have been a neck break."

After leaving behind her TV career on Gladiators, Jet changed her life and became a trained psychotherapist. As well as work, Jet made a major change in her personal life when she fell in love. In July, Jet told the world she was marrying a woman she met at a supermarket.

Of her love Zoe, she told the Chillin’ With Ice podcast: "Just over a year ago, a gorgeous lady approached me in my local supermarket. And over a year later, we’re going to get married. We are what we are. It doesn’t matter. And I don’t give a damn."

New Jet in 2024 Gladiators cast

Gladiators viewers picked Diamond out from the 2024 line-up as the new Jet. (BBC)
Gladiators viewers picked Diamond out from the 2024 line-up as the new Jet. (BBC)

With Gladiators returning to our screens, Jet has been speaking about her experience on the show in recent weeks. And it's no secret that viewers missed the star and long-time fans were looking for the next Jet among the 2024 cast.

Following the weekend, viewers believed that Diamond has the potential to be as popular as Jet on the show. Among the comments on social media, one wrote: "Viper is the new wolf Diamond is the new jet But I’m loving nitro. Gladiators."

Diamond - real name Livi Sheldon - is a champion boxer and she is a statuesque 6ft tall. In the sea of comments, one fan wrote on social media platform X: "Diamond is my new Jet on Gladiators."

"Gladiators so, viper is wolf, diamond is jet, we've got a replacement Saracen in Phantom (too chatty / happy to be shadow), a few other like for likes. The set up is perfect back in the Sheffield Arena. Loving it!"

"Watching Gladiators on bbc1. What a nostalgic throwback. Fun so far with great presentation. Diamond is definitely this generations Jet! Bradley Walsh presenting like the pro he is! Gladiators."

"Gladiators picking up where the 90s one left off. Whether the likes of Viper, Diamond and Legend capture the imaginations of the great British public the same way Wolf, Jet, Hunter & co did is yet to be seen but it’s a good start."

Read more